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Cheeseburgers and Love Day

What do burgers and love have to do with each other? EVERYTHING.

Last year the New York Burger Company sold burger bouquets that included 3 different dipping sauces, chips, a brownie, and a handwritten Valentine’s card. YES.

And who could forget this band that almost was

as Christina Korpik once facebooked me: love, love, love and burger juice

make out with something or someone or whatever.

Written on February 11th, 2010. 1 Comment

New York Burger Tour 2010

I <3 New York...BURGERS! A quick break to New York last week afforded me the lifetime opportunity of inhaling burgers made by those dang yankees.

Five Guys

My first burger stop was a chain that is expanding wildly and tastily. Five Guys Burger and Fries is the proprietor of one of my favorite burgers (Slagosaurus, we were gonna get married and make out all the time together, but then i ate him) and although the San Antonio Five Guys at the Quarry was a bit of a disappointment, I still had fond memories. As my first burger in New York, I give it thumbs up up up and up. Twas delicious and I stand by my recommendation to one and all.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack. A burger place that has it’s own iPhone app, deserves it. This burger felt great going down, fresh, organic, and simple. In a big concrete town, this burger makes you feel at home. Crinkle cut fries are absolutely delicious. Shake Shack gets thumbs up, hands down, it’s too legit.

POPBurger

And here comes another fast food chain lounge, wait, what? Lounge? Pop Burger is the answer to your need to be too New York cool and still satisfy my burger craving needs. Why? Because it’s a pop culture cool lounge that serves drinks and gets freaky, and it also serves little pops of burgers. I say watch out, those onion rings are not right. But every other poppin’ thing is just that- POP! Burger!

JG MELON

And now a New York upper east side establishment that keeps the yups on a comin’, J.G. Melon. The first thing I smelt in this place, the bar-b-que sauce. It smelt like sex. I infact twittered, while waiting the 45 minute wait in the ultra-cramp spaced: “Waiting@ jg melon for a table. Burgers smell like bacon/cheese/BBQ sauce & beef met @ a gay club and got weird w/ eachother. In a good way.” And it did! And all the tight warm space and the suits and the ritz and whatever else was totally worth it because that burger was sooooo rad. Added a side bbq sauce and got busy. Yelp has it listed as a $$ ( that’s a double chaching), and i guess it is, but man that sauce was spectacular and this burger in this fine New York establishment won my heartbelly.

Other than the burgers there wasn’t too many great things in New York and so I’d really suggest just going for the burgers. YEAH RIGHT. Go to New York and EAT IT in that glorious beautiful awesome place! or else.

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Written on February 9th, 2010. 6 Comments

Heinz Reinvents The Ketchup Packet

Hola burger-eaters! I apologize for my small hiatus, but I will be bringing reviews of burgers from a far away place called New York in the coming posts.  But at this moment: breaking ketchup news!

heinz_dip__squeeze_4-1

Heinz ketchup played catch up the past few years in the development of a new packet. The new packet is squeezable and dunkable.  Designers have tried to plug in to users needs when using packets on the go, as opposed to the older design that really only satisfied a sit and eat consumer.  The older design, which lasted 42 years, will still be sold, however the new design will be introduced in March to the US, and if successful, to the UK later.

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Some other innovations include reducing sodium by 15% in their core line of ketchup. The introduction of Simply Heinz Tomato Ketchup, a product made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, is targeted to consumers invested in lifestyle and dietary needs.

Heinz is seeking reaction from consumers through the addition of a Facebook fanpage, where fans can post videos and comment on the time old classic ketchup favorite.

Written on February 7th, 2010. 0 Comments

Counter Cafe – Austin, Texas (8.5)

Counter Cafe

Greetings burgermeisters! Let’s address the counter culture revolution, an American symbol of the working man, of coffee and pie, of darn good food being made on a time-seasoned grill.  My Austin burger review comes from a cafe that now inhabits one of Austin’s former legendary diners, now simply named, Counter Cafe. And trust me, it’s just that, a counter and a few tables, this tiny place open daily from 8am-4pm embodies the hole-in-the-wall-dive-joint entirely.  However tiny, patrons definitely don’t mind a wait to try some of the home diner style menu with a very refreshing gourmet twist. This place was brought to my attention by UT student by day, Lauren Miller, and her Aggie boyfriend, Sergio Guerrero, who highly recommended the burger and suggested staying away from the extra $3 bacon.

Counter Cafe Condiments

Counter Cafe, right off of Lamar and Sixth (across from Book People), is easy to miss.  But the tiny atmosphere creates an interesting warm feel, sometimes double sitting tables for need of the room (thanks to Austin and Texas hospitality, this wasn’t very awkward). Fast-moving and turning tables very quickly the diner definitely gives you an idea of the quick counter culture of Americana. In most restaurants the condiments are kept down to the standard mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, and napkins always positioned in a clean and organized manner when turning tables.  Counter Cafe moves too fast to worry about these details and while the tables are clean, the array of sirracha, mayo, mustard, coarse sea salt, and ground pepper are all splayed about and ready to be used.

Counter Cafe Burger

Not thinking twice about it I ordered the burger, sans bacon. My comrade however, a definite sucker for bacon in all its glory, went straight for the nitrate-free three dollar bacon. Ingredients are all natural, organic, and locally sourced when available.  You can order a wheat or white bun, sweet potato fries, cup of soup, seasonal fruit cup, or house salad.  I opted for a wheat bun and sweet potato fries, which Lauren highly recommended. I’ll tell you, as tiny as the place is and as gourmet as some of the other menu items are, they sure now how to make a simple, delicious burger.  I was amazed at how well it was cooked, the buttered and toasted bun, the fresh ingredients, and the interesting choice of bibb lettuce.  Pulling the ketchup and mayo from the condiment array and splattering them on the burger made it amazing.  The sweet potato fries had a perfect balance, not too sweet and seasoned with sea salt.  I devoured this baby whole, forced myself to go on to that one last delectable bite.  The Austin burger scene can be proud to add this to repertoire.  Although there was a bit of wait for the burger, you can see there are only two cooks in the kitchen with little more than elbow room. You can also openly see the care put into the food in as quick a manner as possible.

Counter Cafe Burger

The reviews for this place in Texas Monthly’s issue of the 50 best burgers in Texas, Yelp, and the Austin Chronicle praise this little cafe. Going to give this swell joint an 8.5 and insist that you shove it in your mouth and EAT IT.

The Counter Cafe
626 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 708-8800
Hours: 8AM – 4PM Daily

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Written on January 29th, 2010. 4 Comments

Gourmet Burger Grill – San Antonio, Texas (6.5)

Gourmet Burger Grill Caprese Burger

Gourmet burgers seems almost oxymoronic.  Do i have to put a tie on for this? Is my burger putting on airs? Why is my burger of a better social class than me? My voyage to the Gourmet Burger Grill off of I-10 and Huebner  in San Antonio forced me to face the idea that my burger should be eaten by Tim Gunn and not by a plebeian such as I. However, one look at the appetizer: Fried Macaroni and Cheese Wedges, and I knew I was probably going to be okay.

The array of options, burger artistry, and plethora of ingredients definitely help you realize what burger ball-game you’re in.  They also make you double-take the prices and realize these special ingredients are worth more than your dollar menu burger. Honestly though, Gourmet Burger Grill creates an atmosphere in which guests can be ready to truly enjoy their burger any which way they choose.  Beverage choices include a line-up of some pretty fine beers and some pretty ritzy wines as well as a self-serve soda fountain and tea.

Chef Mike Davis

While i did wander in on a pretty easy lull on a Saturday the staff took this as an opportunity to shine! Every member was more than ready to assist us and Chef Mike Davis was on site helping us with a pride that was exciting to see in the man behind my burger.

macaroni and cheese fried wedges

A quick note before the burger: I was impressed with the the macaroni wedges. Love. Love. Love. Dip em in ketchup, or ranch, or honeymustard, or don’t. Just definitely give em a try if you’re feeling extra chubby! Also the crinkle cut fries were a pretty spectacular tasty and they also offer the healthier and sweeter option of sweet potato fries.

Caprese Burger

I decided on the Caprese Burger, coincidentally, the same burger as The San Antonio Burger Blogger.  However, our point of view is at odds. I can see how the simplicity of the burger, the somewhat delicateness of the olive oil, fresh basil, and thickly cut and amazingly fresh tomato are an asset.  Simple enough composition to completely compliment the amazing quality of the patty, composed of Certified Angus Beef and fire grilled. Chef Davis did inform us that when ordering at the Gourmet Burger Grill, a well done patty will often lose it’s juices, making devourers miss the quality and care in the meat. I had a medium well that was cooked to perfection, juicy and seasoned so well I definitely felt the passion put towards this creation. However, the burger selection I chose, Caprese, was a little too bland for my taste.  The cheese, tomatoes, and basil were fresh and spectacular, but I expect a burger to have a little more attitude.  This burger was a little too uptown new yorker sipping on a cape cod and not enough spizzazz! Other menu items definitely bent the burger norms such as a Crab Cake Burger and an Ahi Tuna Burger. However I must say, my choice, perhaps wrong for myself, left me wishing I had ordered one of those delicious fellows.

I do recommend you give it a try if you have the bank. I trust and believe in what Chef Davis is doing. While I can’t wait to return, I definitely have to give the Caprese burger a slightly boring 6.5. With that said Eat It when you feel fancy.

Gourmet Burger Grill
11224 Huebner Rd Suite 206
San Antonio, TX 78230
Phone: 210 558 9200 Fax: 210 558 9203
Hours: Sun-Thurs. 11-9 Fri-Sat 11-10

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Written on January 28th, 2010. 1 Comment

SmashBurger – San Antonio, Texas (8.5)

smashburger

This post is hot and fresh just like the newest Smashburger in San Antonio on Potranco near 151. Opening to the masses today, I was luckily invited to a sneak peak lunch yesterday and sized the spanking new burger place up.

I’ve definity heard some of the buzz around Smashburger, a clever franchise that has the support of a well made marketing campaign that is hip and exciting. But all the hype could be another false fame to claim. I needed to see if the burger fulfilled the design. So yesterday for lunch i went to smash me some tasty, and I was not disappointed.

smash burger 2

Ordering the BBQ bacon and cheese burger on an egg bun, and deviously adding a fried egg on it, I stared the cashier in the eye and added a Rootbeer float to my order. This was going to be a big lunch. Smash fries on the side and all I had to do was wait patiently for my order to arrive. The general manager, Toby, was kind enough to help with any burger questions and informed me of the reasoning behind the egg bun. Apparently, the burgers are so delectably juicy that the egg bun is necessary to help embrace those juices and insure that guests are able to savor every flavor these burgers have to offer.

smash burger 3

My rootbeer float was a scrumptious old school concoction that featured bottled IBC rootbeer and a pretty creamy and smooth vanilla ice cream. Comrads at the table who ordered the chocolate shake on the menu were slightly disappointed in the stingy use of the chocolate syrup in said shakes. Some beer and burger people will be pleased to know that Smash serves beer and wine with a bucket of 4 beers coming in at $9.99, pretty fair deal if I do say so myself. But now the main event.

smash burger 3

My BBQ burger did not disappoint the hype. The egg was perfectly fried, the crispy onion straws swimming in the BBQ sauce, and that extra sexy applewood bacon all contributed to an amazing combination. Although, if you prefer your bacon crispy I suggest you request that at the register. Also, the BBQ sauce on their burgers is nothing short of amazing. I definitely recommend this burger to everyone! I cannot wait to go back and try any of the other exciting burgers on the menu. I will say that the smashfries are pretty tasty, however are seasoned a little too heavy in some areas. The regular fries are a safer bet, lightly salted and a better quality version of America’s favorite fry. Beside those small details, the patty, the bun and the BBQ sauce make an incredible experience for your taste buds. The excitement and energy of the hosts make this place a new establishment that wants to please their guests. Although perhaps a little too eager, I’m sure that was a first day jitters kind of deal and will ease up.

Smashburger I give you an impressive 8.5 and can’t wait to return to you soon. Thanks everyone for a great experience and the free meal! Hugs, kisses, and all my <3, EAT IT! SmashBurger
Potranco Rd. & 151 Access Rd
8802 Potranco Road
San Antonio, Texas 78245

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Written on January 22nd, 2010. 5 Comments

Crave Burger – San Antonio, Texas (7.5)

Crave Burger

This week’s burger establishment takes it name perhaps from that inarticulate sentence that rumbles out of my mouth in the most desperate and dire of burger times: Crave Burger. A sentence that beat out “Me want food,” Crave Burger is up on the podium for burger scrutiny, or love.

Crave Burger 2

Located in San Antonio, Tx off of 410, Urbanspoon voters give it an average rating of an impressive 89% while Yelp reviews have Crave Burger carrying 5 delicious stars.  The reviews left me wondering what the star to jalapeño ratio was and whether I had enough thumbs to review this hit burgerium. From the parking lot the smell of a grill at work gets patrons mouths salivating. Practically running through the door, I  met with a well sized restaurant that uses the space wisely to sit a plentiful amount of guests.  The kitchen area, grill etc are all placed directly behind the counter putting guests at ease, and placing that mouthwatering aroma all around.  Big Red on tap, three different buns, that sexy fried egg option, Crave Burger definitely wants patrons to create a unique burger for their unique palettes.

Crave Burger 3

My burger of choice was the island burger: grilled pineapple, bacon, lettuce, tomato on top of a fresh all beef patty. It said aloha in all the right ways.  Placed between the wheat bun option, my burger walked that sweet burger line. This burger was a gut buster i never wanted to stop masticating. Thick cut bacon on top of a juicy patty and a sweet thick cut pineapple created an ensemble that definitely put me in a tropical mind set. Unfortunately, the tater tots left a little something to be desired, seasoned salt perhaps, some seasoning at least, but the fries were your standard issue tasty.

crave burger employee

The staff was amazingly nice and assisted with all my burger queries. Football on the flat screens and what seemed to be a pretty cool kids ipod hooked up to the stereo the atmosphere made my burger experience pretty swell.  Over all I give Crave Burger a fine 7.5. I will be back to try the tempting Chalupa Burger and I recommend you EAT IT.

Crave Burger
4263 NW Loop 410, Ste 100
San Antonio, TX 78229
(210) 592-1539

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Written on January 19th, 2010. 3 Comments

Cheeseburger Cupcakes!!!

Sweet Cheeseburger Tasty

Yes! Yes! and more YES! With Valentines, Easter, and Martin Luther King Day coming up you’ll need a nice cupcake recipe around that will wow the pants off of your fellow celebrators. I’m particularly fond of the Big Mac : ) EAT IT up burger slaves, Eat it all up!

cheeseburger-cupcake-2

Written on January 14th, 2010. 1 Comment

Elevation Burger – Austin, Texas (9.0)

IMG_2327

This review is on my first burger of 2010 at the Elevation Burger on Great Hills Trail in Austin, Texas. This burgery is a purpose driven establishment that brings the burger back to the basics: Quality Food.  Elevation takes its business seriously, and burgers are its business. With an organic label on their ingredients and a commitment to the environment that is exhibited in their environmental structure the promise of a delicious burger is there. However, behind all these feel good, green, trendy notions could be a burger that doesn’t live up to it’s marketing genius, maybe.

My visit on January 1st was one filled with apprehension and high hopes.  The restaurant is located across from the Arboretum, a rather pleasant and moneycentric side of town.  The kind of place where you could market the green good life trends to yuppies and they’d eat it all up.  On my visit I tried to keep an eye on the locals and the staffing, and I was surprised and pleased with both.  This restaurant serves to the conscious Austin burger eater, a patron that believes in a better self as well as a better world in which the way to both are within our grasps. The staff was extremely nice and very helpful with all our burger questions and they seemed genuinely happy to be helping people and working hard. The actual experience of the restaurant was great. But all of that could fall through if the burger didn’t deliver.

elevation burger

The wait was decent, considering my burger was being made fresh from meat ground on the premises. When our burgers arrived I saw a perfectly sized burger that had a P. Terry’sesque feel to it.  Infact, the burger does resemble the Austin chain in several ways. Mainly because of the quality, organic seal on the ingredients and the simplicity of the burger.  This burger was amazing.  It was delicious and perfectly sized, not the kind of burger that has your gut evicting other organs for need of space. The patty, the fresh vegetables, the Elevation sauce (not Thousand Island but a sort of creamy tomato concoction), the simply stated bun all compiled an ensemble that made my taste buds fall into that deep burger LOVE. The fries, although were a bit too toasted, were impossible to stop devouring. All in all, my Elevation burger was a great to start to 2010. Environmentally friendly, health conscience, and enjoyable in just about every way possible I’m happy Elevation started my year off.

elevation burger 2

I highly, highly recommend Elevation Burger to anyone looking for a delicious feel good treat. Rated on a scale of 1-10 this burger gets a highly deserved 9 and you absolutely must EAT IT.

Elevation Burger
9828 Great Hills Trail
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 608-4054

Hours of Operation:
Sun-Thurs: 11am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 11am-10pm

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Written on January 12th, 2010. 0 Comments

Cheeseburger Wallet

Cheeseburger Wallet

Cheesefaces, ever wonder where to put your cheese? What about all that fresh lettuce? How about where on earth to put the meat? Alright maybe not that last one because of the sexual innuendo, but you get it. Toddland makes this incredibly delicious burger wallet where you can keep all your very important credit cards, money, phone number from the cashier at McDonald’s. Guys, this burger wallet could be yours for the not so cheesy price of $24 from Urban Outfitters or fredflare.com. It’s a little overpriced for me, personally, and I’ll probably be investigating knock-off brands in kid stores. But if you have the bread (buns) then be my guest to eat it all up.

Written on January 7th, 2010. 0 Comments

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